by Frank Muller
Given the amount of current dialogue concerning the fast moving and important events unfolding around the world, I am suggesting a book for your consideration (linked below) and a recap of some of the seismic geopolitical alignments that have been occurring over the last five years.
- China/Iran: Recently, these two governments signed an omnibus trade and security deal that essentially begins the process of neutering the sanctions levied by the EU and US. This may help explain the desire of the US to get the best deal it can before Iran is free of the US banking system.
- This agreement allows direct finance through the Chinese financial system and its’ export trade to flow through as Chinese products.
- China will provide Iran advanced weaponry and training and resources to continue to arm its’ proxies around the Middle East and Africa (Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Niger)
- China and its’ proxies are moving away from US Dollar based trade in order to move away from the US Swift system.
- China will use its’ market clout at some point to create an ultimatum to America’s allies, use our trade system or lose out on our markets thus forcing enormous price increases onto North American, European and Pacific allies.
- China/Cuba: Same as above
- This agreement will allow the Cubans to sustain their Communist control and to fund their proxies in Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua (and worryingly Mexico) throughout Central and South America and neuters the US sanctions effect. It further aligns more cheap labor markets and resource countries away from the US dominance in the Western Hemisphere.
- This places over time well-armed proxies and destabilizers on the US Southern Border and Western Hemisphere nations creating potential friendly nations to the stationing of forward military bases in the Western Hemisphere in the decades to come.
- China/Korea: same as above
- This agreement continues to fund the North Korea regime in threatening its’ Pacific Rim neighbors whilst the Godfather remains carefully hidden and alleviates the North Korea sanction problem through the back door. It is most likely not a coincidence that the North Koreans are again testing ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.
- China/Russia: same as above
- This agreement creates the new Axis that can place pressure on the Europeans and their near Asia allies and helps the Russians with their sanctions problem. China may be standing ready to purchase Russian hydrocarbons and place their long-term nemesis financially and firmly under their heel. It also assuages their own concerns about Iran’s ability to meet China’s ever growing energy requirements.
- The Russians are placing great pressure on the Artic and Canada with direct military assets and bases trying to assert control over the Artic Sea ways. China is advancing in the South China sea in order to blockade, if need be, that vital water way for Pacific rim trade.
Aligned against this forming Eastern worldwide alliance is a coming together of the Western worldwide alliance.
- US/India: Recently, these two governments instituted advanced war games coordination and weapons systems deals as well as direct military to military daily communication. The Indians are boosting their spending on Defense as a percentage of their GDP. However, the Indians are also torn between aligning with the Western nations or reaching a detente with the Chinese and Russians. Given their proximity they are most likely going to side with powers they think will win in the Pacific region.
- US/Japan: Longtime allies and now the Japanese are rearming and increasing the tight integration with US Pacific theater resources. As the WW2 generation passes there, the public sentiment towards reasserting a military role for Japan in the Pacific rim is gaining ground and the recognition that both China and North Korea bear long held grudges and cultural differences with the Japanese.
- US/Australia: Longtime allies are growing in military integration as the Aussies rapidly scale their defense spend and domestic defense industry.
- US/Canada: Canada now recognizes that an existential threat can easily come across their northern borders. With the melting of the Artic Sea ice and the ability of Naval Ice Breakers and submarines and aircraft to operate year-round in the Artic, the Canadians themselves must respond. Canada is increasing its’ defense spend and so is the US in the Artic as the Russians maintain a 10x advantage in ships and personnel in the region.
- US/Israel/Egypt/Saudi Arabia/UAE/Morocco: The Sunni world is now taking the steps to begin to coordinate on areas of joint interest, namely the Chinese working through their Shia allies in Iran and their proxies. This creates a flash point in the volatile Middle East and the division in the Muslim world may spill over into a global conflict.
I could go on and on but you get the point. This lining up over decades of countries with strategic policy objectives that are in conflict with one another is foreboding.
The teams are coming together on both sides and a number are playing both sides trying to gauge who will win this power struggle.
It is into this environment that leaders must guide and prepare their countries, cultures and capabilities to meet the challenges.
Great mistakes can be made that are often overlooked if the side that makes them wins the conflict regardless.
Tragedies are made when those mistakes are made and that side loses.
I offer you this read and the historicity of it for your consideration.
If Pat Buchanan is anything, he is a terrific writer and historian who had a ring side seat during those decades where decisions were being made that has led us too today for better and for worse.
Peace be with us all.